I have to do something about that
"I have to do something about that." This statement, later used as the title of Tina Leisch´s film portrait of resistance fighter Helga Zimmermann, is spoken by the protagonist somewhat abruptly and in passing as she explains a photograph taken in the early forties for the interviewer. It shows Russian prisoners of war being led away by soldiers of the German army. One of them, a woman dressed in civilian clothes, is the focus of Zimmermann´s attention: At the time she was told by her brother that when the Germans find partisans, they hang them, even the women. "The way the woman´s walking..." says Zimmermann, which is followed by the quote used for the title.
One of the strong points of oral history is that it records the performative aspects of the situation in which someone remembers the past along with the memory itself. This makes the informant´s image of events an integral part of the portrayal ⎯ in contrast to testimony given in court or conventional interviews. I Have to Do Something about That makes effective use of this fact: Tina Leisch added conversations with Hilde Zimmermann´s husband, brother and best friend to the interviews conducted by Brigitte Halbmayr ten years ago for the Ravensbrück video archive. The final product is a film portrait of a woman who led a unique and exemplary life in addition to a biography that is relevant for research of contemporary history: a child of socialist Red Vienna, a politically active youth, a member of the resistance against the National Socialists when a young woman, arrested with her mother, brother and comrades and deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Creating and maintaining this balance is the most astounding accomplishment of Tina Leisch´s film.
Translation: Steve Wilder
Dagegen muss ich etwas tun. Portrait der Widerstandskämpferin Hilde Zimmermann